Maintaining JHE’s transportation compliance program with 20 tractors, one motorcoach, 41 trailers, 14 small fleet vehicles, 26 ride toys and more than 75 drivers; and having them road ready and safely rolling down the highway sure keeps a girl busy.
Funny how life is … I never thought I would be working with big trucks or any trucks for that matter and now it’s my every day. I do have previous airline experience, and transportation is transportation, so I guess that’s not too much of a stretch. Only now instead of practicing air safety I’m grounded.
Managing a fleet the size of JHE’s has its challenges. One of the biggest challenges is keeping up with the ever changing Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration & Department of Transportation (FMCSA) rules and regulations. One major example of this is when FMCSA announced it would change from Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) to the new initiative of Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) in June of 2010. This presented a whole new reporting system for the industry; which now includes rating the drivers along with the motor carriers. These scores affect whether or not our trucks get pulled over for random safety inspections or we get selected for a full blown on-site safety audit. We have worked really hard over the last two years to position JHE in the eyes of DOT as a safe, satisfactory operating motor carrier. We have lowered our score from 76 to 18. That’s a good thing, like golf, the lower the score the better. This lower score is a good indicator to perspective clients, insurance carriers, and the traveling public that JHE is an A+ transportation company in addition to being tops in production.
The fun doesn’t stop with DOT compliance. We also keep up with all the tax reporting, tag, registration, inspections, and licensing requirements of all of our equipment. So I also get to spend many hours at the local DMV office and sometimes a special trip to the IRS. Oh the places I go…
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the job is working with our logistics coordinators. Good drivers are most productive. Putting together training programs and “best practice” policies to help raise the level of driver performance is most rewarding. The Fleet Department can make JHE look good on paper, but it’s the drivers that make it a reality.